Bay Journal

Chesapeake Notebook

News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.

Steel mill clean-up fund may address longstanding pollution

For the long-suffering residents of southeastern Baltimore County, MD, there is finally good news: a $48 million deal to clean up contamination at the 3,100 acre  Sparrows Point steel mill.
The mill’s new owners, Sparrows Point Terminal, LLC, entered into an agreement with the Maryland Department of the Environment and the state’s attorney general to develop and execute a cleanup plan on the property.

Rona Kobell

Gas export plant wins key federal approval

A plan to put a liquefied natural gas export terminal in the Chesapeake Bay just overcame its last major hurdle, but opponents said they would continue to challenge the development.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last night announced it was giving Dominion Resources permission to site, construct and operate the Cove Point liquefied natural gas export plant on the shores of the Chesapeake in Lusby, Calvert County, MD.

The company will need to accept  conditions FERC has set forth, and tell FERC officials how it will implement its plans. But news of the approval seems to seal the deal for one of the most contentious projects in decades.

Rona Kobell

State regulation of animal feeding operations remains uneven

The change from state permits for large animal feeding operations to more comprehensive federal ones has not been easy for states in the watershed.

The difficulty stemmed from a 2008 regulation, long in the works at EPA, that changed the definition of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.

Rona Kobell

Picture This

Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.

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Order of Chaos

Photographers go to great lengths to make order out of chaos. A good photograph has a strong point of view, clean lines, generally good composition. In this case chaos IS the point. Anyone who has ever witnessed a flock of snow geese erupt into flight knows that the sight and sounds of those birds says chaos to the extreme.    This flock was photographed with a 200mm lens, 2x tele extender, Olympus E-5 camera, 1250/sec. @ f5.6. ISO 200. The scene was made at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge just after sunrise, thin cloud cover.

David Harp
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January morning along the Choptank River

It was a very cold pre dawn January morning along the Choptank River.   Out to capture some winter scenes (since we didn't really have winter last year). I found this ice encrusted plant and made a photo in the early morning light.    Wanting more drama in the photo I waited until the rising sun barely kissed it and made another exposure. Sometimes is pays to wait for the light.Both photographs were made with an Olympus E-5, 12-60mm lens at 21mm.  

David Harp
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Virginia oystermen in Kegotank Bay

I had been out most of the day photographing a pair of seaside Virginia oystermen in Kegotank Bay, near Gargatha Inlet and was generally pleased with the day's work.  The two watermen had been picking up clumps of oysters, breaking them apart with  culling hammers and saving the prime ones in wire baskets.    Having finished the last few photos of them off loading the oysters, I began to pack up my camera and audio gear when I caught another oyster picker out of the corner of my eye.   He was celebrating a 4 bushel day (at $50 per bushel) with a Colt 45.  His wonderful demeanor, working man's wardrobe and the nice late afternoon light made for a great combination.

David Harp

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